Saturday, March 31, 2012

Monday, December 5, 2011

What I'm Listening To

I like clean, simple worship. In the quietness of my moments alone, one way I draw near to the Father is through the simplicity of slow, reflective and heartfelt music. I'm loving much of Jonathon's stuff right now.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Notes from church

As I was sitting in church this morning God's Spirit testified to mine as our pastor spoke of Peter's words in 2 Peter 1:1. We have actually spent the past 6 weeks in 1 Peter 5, focusing on humility, so I am sure that also had some influence on the words that were given to me. I can't remember what the pastor said that triggered it but I do know it had to do with Peter calling himself a servant which actually means slave. Regardless, I wrote it down quickly before it escaped me.

As long as I think I am something, God can not be everything. God can not be everything until I become nothing. BUT GOD is everything in that He specializes in making something out of nothing.

1 Peter 5:6 seems to reinforce those words well.  "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time."

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I Wanna Be A Plow Boy

I have had many thoughts and blog ideas tumbling around in my head over the past few months but have not seemed to be able to write or post any. This one just seems to keep coming back to me. It seems clear in my head but seems so difficult for me to articulate it into words. I hope it makes sense.

 I know and understand we are in an era of no-till farming. However I am old school and I live and work in an area where I continue to see the Amish work the land the old fashion way. Therefore, in my mind and for this analogy I am declaring that there are two kinds of ground. Fallow ground and ground that has been broken up by the plow.

 The fallow ground is solid, content, protected from the shock of the plow and the agitation of the harrow or the disc that follows. As it lies year after year it becomes familiar to those that routinely encounter it. The deer and the crow probably use it as a landmark. If it could think, it would probably be quite satisfied with itself. It would be proud of it's reputation of being steadfast and stable. It could always be counted on to never change. While much around it changes throughout the seasons, it remains the same. Safe and undisturbed,  it is a great picture of contentment. However, there is a price to pay for it's tranquility. It never experiences the miracle of a seed bursting into new life, or the wonder of continued growth, or the beauty of ripening grain. It can never know fruit because it never experienced the plow.

 Obviously the plowed ground is the direct opposite of this. The cultivated field has yielded itself  to the adventure of living. It's gate was opened wide to allow the plow in to do it's work. It's peace and tranquility is shattered by the force of the plow and the rattle of machinery. When the plow is finished the land has felt the pain of change. It has been upset, turned over, bruised and broken , but it's rewards will come from it's brokenness. ( I could preach that!) The new seed will shoot up and God's hand is at work all over that field. New things are born, then grow to maturity for a harvest. Miracles follow the plow.

Our lives can be very similar to these fields.

The man with the fallow life is content with the fruit or harvest he once produced. (or still sharing the same old testimony of what God did in his life years earlier) He doesn't want to be disturbed. Any spirit of adventure is dead within him. He is steady, maybe even called faithful, because he is always in his place. He has become a landmark in his church, but he is fruitless. The worst thing is that this man IS what he WILL ALWAYS BE. He has fenced himself in and when that happens you also fence out God and the miracle that could have been. This is where I feel I have been for quite some time now. A spiritual comatose.

 On the contrary, the plowed life. (This is where I am going or where I am desiring to go.) The urge of the Spirit, the pressure of circumstances, and the frustration of fruitless living have combined to stir and humble my heart. Discontentment and a yearning for courageous obedience to the will of God have bruised and broken the soil and it is ready again for a new season and a new seed. Prayer, repentance and confession opened the gate. The law of sowing and reaping cannot be broken.  Fruit and harvest always follow the plow. Life and growth begin as God rains down righteousness.

 Hosea 10:12 ESV  Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.

 Then I can testify that the hand of the Lord was upon me there. Yes it's difficult, and yes it hurts in some ways, but it will never compare to the joy that is to come.

 I also believe this applies to the local church. The church that fears or resists the plow will be barren or die while the church that uses the plow walks in the way of growth and revival.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Wise Words For Leaders

"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea."

                                                                      -Antoine de Saint-Exupery